Friday’s works of the Central European Initiative Parliamentary Committee – Parliamentary Dimension (CEI-PD), which pave the way for the CEI Summit in autumn, tackled „the democracy slippages” in the Republic of Moldova, although the economic crisis was actually the key theme.
Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies Roberta Anastase stressed that despite its success, the European unification project is not yet complete, raising in the context the issue of the „democracy slippages” in the Republic of Moldova.
„Until [the moment such flaws are removed – Ed. Note] us, the states in our region, have the duty to continue cooperation in formats like this, so as to make sure that new separation curtains are indeed no longer possible. As the events in the Republic of Moldova have shown us, slippages of democracy inconceivable some years ago have now become possible again. I only hope that these slippages do not set in place a new such curtain to obstruct the European aspirations of the citizens of the Republic of Moldova,” said Roberta Anastase.
Senate vice-president Anca Boagiu said that the CEI potential was not fully capitalized on and that this initiative should „act as a partner to the EU and a form of supporting the European roadmap for the states aspiring to this status.”
„The priorities of these projects need to envisage assistance programs in areas that lie beneath the goal of getting closer to the EU. Another issue that needs to be taken up among CEI projects is that of minorities, a subject that is already included on the EU agenda,” added Anca Boagiu.
Chairman of Senate’s Committee on Foreign Affairs, Titus Corlatean, stated that the role of national parliaments in preventing „anti-democratic slippages like those in Chisinau’ should be that of ‘guardian of the democratic standards at European level.”
Titus Corlatean stressed that „dialogue and cooperation must be part of an effort to overcome global economic crisis” by accomplishing the integration in the European Union (EU) of CEI member states.
In his turn, Laszlo Borbely, chairman of the Chamber of Deputies’ Committee on Foreign Affairs and holder this year of the CEI-PD Presidency, said that Romania needs to play a more powerful role, given the favorable geo-strategic context, as it is now on the EU border with non¬member states.
„Romania sets its sights on playing a more powerful role in this area, building on the favorable geo-strategic situation.
We can act as a bridge between the EU and the countries of this area, let aside the topical energy issues – Nabucco, South Stream – as these pipelines will obviously cross these territories. From this standpoint, these countries should display stronger solidarity and we can also have a greater influence in the line of parliamentary diplomacy,” said Laszlo Borbely.
He stressed that on the occasion of the CE! Summit to take place this autumn in Bucharest, at the initiative of Romania, a standing subcommittee will be established to tighten relations with international and regional parliamentary organizations.
„!n the second place, we want the parliamentary and the executive dimension to be tighter linked.
As far as the executive dimension is concerned, projects are underway, connections have been established among ministries and a highly important amount of some EUR 70 million has been handled in various projects approved in the past 18 years. But as far as the parliamentary dimension is concerned, our pursuit has been to get the countries in the non-EU area closer.
And obviously, we are here to discuss issues related to the security of this zone, problems related to human rights and others that can and should be raised at the Summit in autumn this year,” said Laszlo Borbely.
The works of the Central European !nitiative Parliamentary Committee – Parliamentary Dimension (CE!-PD) are taking place over May 7-9 at the Chamber of Deputies, and the Summit will be organized in October 2009 in Bucharest; the agenda of the event comprises meetings of the Foreign Ministers and Prime Ministers of the CE! member states.
CE! is a flexible form of regional cooperation that joins 18 member states, specifically Albania, Austria, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Italy, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Moldova, Montenegro, Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Serbia, Ukraine and Hungary.
The parliamentary dimension of the organization (CEI-PD), which held its first meeting in Bologna in 1991, brings together the standing delegations of the 18 member states in a non-institutionalized format.